Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, the column that answers your questions about the story and lore of the Warcraft universe. Click the Comments link below (or e-mail us!), ask your question, and blogger/columnist Alex Ziebart will answer your question in a future installment
Is there a Heaven or Hell in any Warcraft lore? Or is the swirly clouds when you die about it.
That's a good question, and my answer isn't going to be very clear, because Warcraft itself isn't clear on it. Warcraft used to be based much more heavily on Christian concepts. There was a Heaven and there was a Hell, there was God and Angels and all that jazz. It's much more vague and nebulous now. It seems that the Twisting Nether is the current concept of Hell, but that might just mean it's a really bad place and not somewhere that sinful dead people automatically go. I have no idea if there is still a Heaven, but the Priest quest for Benediction/Anathema has you escorting souls of Stratholme's dead to the afterlife. So do they exist? Probably, yes. It is suggested that they definitely do exist. What are they like, exactly? We don't know.
Kind of an unimportant question, but I was wondering: how does Azeroth have different races of humans? The physical differences among real races developed from the vastly different regions they 'grew up' in, and while I don't really have much lore knowledge, especially on human development in Azeroth, I thought they generally all came from the same area. This would mean they would pretty much all look somewhat similar. I mean, throwing in different skins is great, I'm all for diversity, I'm just not sure how it would actually have come about.
I don't think it's based in lore very much. There are Humans from a lot of different regions, so it's possible that there are varying pigments and features across them, but it's unlikely the range would be as vast as what's available for us in World of Warcraft. Most likely its for player reasons, so everyone can create avatars they can identify with if they'd like. It's the same reason they blurred the gender lines in certain cultures for WoW. For example, Night Elves. If you want to, you can play a Male Priest or a Female Druid when they shouldn't have been there originally, just because it'll supply a more player-friendly environment.
Now that the Forsaken are dead, but also not-dead, do they have any sort of bodily functions? Do they need to eat or sleep or... you know, that thing we all do after eating?
Well, game mechanics has them eating and drinking for health and mana all of the time, but outside of that I would guess that they don't need to do those things. They might do it anyway because they enjoy it (or enjoyed it). There are 'beds' (coffins) in the Forsaken inns so they probably rest now and then. I definitely could be wrong on this one though, I haven't seen anything anywhere that explicitly states it either way, but if someone has I'd love to hear it.
I have a somewhat off question for you. I was wondering what language the song in the opening cinematic for the original World of Warcraft is. I think it's latin, but I'm not sure. Also, what are they saying? I've listened to that song many times and I've always wondered what it meant.
From what I understand, the Warcraft cinematics use fake Latin in the background. By 'fake Latin' I mean it's meant to sound Latin but is not really any language at all. It just sounds cool/epic. I could be wrong, but that's what I heard when the WoW cinematics originally launched and haven't read anything that states otherwise since then.
Seopthi of Drak'Thul-EU wrote in to ask...
My question is about the Deeprun Tram. The train is going through the sea, but there is not any sea between Ironforge and Stormwind. Is it a bug, or is there a rational explanation (mad scientist aquarium)?
To create the Deeprun Tram, the Gnomes actually created a pocket dimension between the two kingdoms that folds time on top of itself to make the trip shorter, which is why the train is so fast - it only needs to travel one fourth the distance you would need to otherwise. Because of these folds, space is bent in some places and funnels in water from the Maelstrom, since the creases in the world allow the sea into places on land it wouldn't normally be. In addition, these folds in time make the Tram appear to travel east and west rather than north and south.
Nah, I made all that up. Popular theory is that the Tram was originally going to travel between Darnassus and Ironforge, which would have it traveling east and west as it appears and also through the ocean. Instead, they connected Stormwind and Ironforge after thinking it through a little more but never redesigned the Tram's interior. Probably because that aquarium looks pretty awesome, and spinning the whole thing around would be a huge pain in the butt.
The other theory, the one that's more likely, is that Stormwind and Ironforge were planned to be placed somewhat differently on the world map, in a way that would make the water in the tram make more sense The tram would've passed just through a little bit of the ocean between two bits of the Eastern Kingdoms.
Malusdei of Bonechewer wrote in to ask...
As we have all seen the latest cinematic video for Wrath of the Lich King, I think it begs on question. Does Arthas someone Deathwing in the trailer or is it some other dragon? I thought evidence hinted at him being in Outland, not Northrend. Could Arthas have gained control over Deathwing?
No, that's not Deathwing. Deathwing isn't dead. Hints say he's in Outland, but we don't really know where he is for sure. Still, that wasn't him. Most likely that frost wyrm is the remains of a Blue Dragon named Sindragosa. You can see the spot from the cinematic in the Wrath beta. The spot is called "Sindragosa's Fall."
Quite a number of people have asked me if that dragon is Deathwing, and I'm not sure how it could be taken that way. It's definitely not him, and I don't know what it is that suggests it's him.
That's all for this week, ladies and gentlemen. As always, if you have any questions, no matter how big or small, ask them in the comments section below and I'll try to answer them in a future edition of Ask a Lore Nerd. If you asked a question quite awhile ago and I haven't gotten around to it yet, please feel free to ask it again- I may have set it aside to think on it further and forgot about it. If that's the case, I apologize and I'll do my best to get around to it!